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Discussion Starter #1
Hey a/c folks,

Working on my 95 cougar with 4.6.

My a/c compressor is getting weak and needs to be replaced. (based on reading in this thread)

The first thing I would like to do is inspect the orifice tube to see how bad things are.

My problem is finding the location of it. The ford service CD diagram has a picture of a line that looks nothing like mine.

Mine has a connection close to the condenser - about 6" of hard line - then a hose that bends up and over the wheel well - then turns back into a hard line with a half U or J shape that then straightens out for the 2 foot run back to the firewall. (a picture of the tube is in this thread) second from the bottom.

Can someone describe where the orifice tube is located and a tip on how to get it out?

I also see that there is a fixed and adjustable orifice tube replacement available. Why and which should i go with?

Thanks,
 

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Hey a/c folks,

Working on my 95 cougar with 4.6.

My a/c compressor is getting weak and needs to be replaced. (based on reading in this thread)

The first thing I would like to do is inspect the orifice tube to see how bad things are.

My problem is finding the location of it. The ford service CD diagram has a picture of a line that looks nothing like mine.

Mine has a connection close to the condenser - about 6" of hard line - then a hose that bends up and over the wheel well - then turns back into a hard line with a half U or J shape that then straightens out for the 2 foot run back to the firewall. (a picture of the tube is in this thread) second from the bottom.

Can someone describe where the orifice tube is located and a tip on how to get it out?

I also see that there is a fixed and adjustable orifice tube replacement available. Why and which should i go with?

Thanks,
It's in the "condenser to evaporator" line and is integrated. You can see where it is by following the line and you will see some crimps where the orifice tube is held in place. Sorry I don't have any pics, but I'll try to find some.

They do make kits that allow you to cut the tube and splice in a new orifice tube, but I don't recommend them - just more places to develop leaks, IMHO. I recommend just changing the whole line.

If you do want to change just the orifice tube, here are the Ford instructions:

Orifice Tube Replacement
Remove refrigerant line from vehicle.
Identify location of orifice tube by three indented notches or a circular depression on metal portion of tube.
Note angular position of ends of liquid line for assembly reference.
Cut a 2.5 inch section from tube at orifice tube location. Do not cut any closer than one inch from start of bend in tube.
Flush out two lengths of refrigerant line to remove any contaminants.
Lubricate O-rings with clean refrigerant oil, then assemble orifice tube kit to line. Ensure flow direction arrow points toward evaporator end of line and taper of compression rings is toward compression nut. When properly assembled, the inlet tube is positioned against the orifice tube tabs.
With tube hex nut secured in a vise, torque compression nuts to 65-70 ft. lbs.
Install liquid line using new lubricated O-rings.
Leak test, evacuate and charge refrigerant system.

If you change the whole line, here are the Ford instructions:

Line & Tube Assembly Replacement
Discharge refrigerant from system.
Disconnect refrigerant line from condenser outlet connection. Disconnect the line at the evaporator core using the proper spring lock coupling tool, Fig. 2.
Route new refrigerant line and integral fixed orifice tube, with the protective caps installed.
Remove protective caps and connect new refrigerant line into the system using new O-rings lubricated with refrigerant oil.
Leak test, evacuate and charge refrigerant system.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's in the "condenser to evaporator" line and is integrated. You can see where it is by following the line and you will see some crimps where the orifice tube is held in place. Sorry I don't have any pics, but I'll try to find some.

They do make kits that allow you to cut the tube and splice in a new orifice tube, but I don't recommend them - just more places to develop leaks, IMHO. I recommend just changing the whole line.

If you do want to change just the orifice tube, here are the Ford instructions:

Orifice Tube Replacement
Remove refrigerant line from vehicle.
Identify location of orifice tube by three indented notches or a circular depression on metal portion of tube.
Note angular position of ends of liquid line for assembly reference.
Cut a 2.5 inch section from tube at orifice tube location. Do not cut any closer than one inch from start of bend in tube.
Flush out two lengths of refrigerant line to remove any contaminants.
Lubricate O-rings with clean refrigerant oil, then assemble orifice tube kit to line. Ensure flow direction arrow points toward evaporator end of line and taper of compression rings is toward compression nut. When properly assembled, the inlet tube is positioned against the orifice tube tabs.
With tube hex nut secured in a vise, torque compression nuts to 65-70 ft. lbs.
Install liquid line using new lubricated O-rings.
Leak test, evacuate and charge refrigerant system.

If you change the whole line, here are the Ford instructions:

Line & Tube Assembly Replacement
Discharge refrigerant from system.
Disconnect refrigerant line from condenser outlet connection. Disconnect the line at the evaporator core using the proper spring lock coupling tool, Fig. 2.
Route new refrigerant line and integral fixed orifice tube, with the protective caps installed.
Remove protective caps and connect new refrigerant line into the system using new O-rings lubricated with refrigerant oil.
Leak test, evacuate and charge refrigerant system.
Mine has no crimps and I linked to a post with a picture. I have read many, many threads that say you can get it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That confirms what i said in the previous post, but you picture does not show the whole line and just shows that it is near the end.

Could you guys look at the pic I linked to and describe where it's at. Is it in the short hard line section that is close to the condenser or the other end?

thanks,
 

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Mine has no crimps and I linked to a post with a picture. I have read many, many threads that say you can get it out.
Well that's good news! I've never changed one on an MN-12 so I wasn't sure what others have done.
That pic from Matt looks like that's what he did! :thumbsup:

That's just what the Ford Manual has to say about it and we've used those stupid little kits at the shop before.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well that's good news! I've never changed one on an MN-12 so I wasn't sure what others have done.
That pic from Matt looks like that's what he did! :thumbsup:

That's just what the Ford Manual has to say about it and we've used those stupid little kits at the shop before.
Matt's pic was one that i had found before. It just doesn't show the location well, But like i said, mine is like in the pic linked above. It's smooth with no crimps. I'm just wanting to investigate, so i would like to take as little apart as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
here's what mine looks like (thanks LoadedButane). The end with the red plug is the condenser end.

 

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Matt's pic was one that i had found before. It just doesn't show the location well, But like i said, mine is like in the pic linked above. It's smooth with no crimps. I'm just wanting to investigate, so i would like to take as little apart as possible.
Well, it can only be one of two places - at one of the two ends of the condenser-evaporator tube.
If I was to guess, it's up top by the joint near the firewall in the high pressure line (the smaller one).

Is that where you got to yours, Matt?


EDIT: Just saw the pic, nice - I love this site!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Matt,

Anything special to know about putting the new one back in? Does in click in place or something?





Thank you both so much for the help. I love this site too!
 

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Sorry, it's at the condensor end. You can see the bits of the old foam still adhered to mine in the same place the foam is on the new line above (the crimps are underneath the foam).
Basically just push it in until it stops, no need for brute force.
This is great info - I have a new tube that I never put in because I flat out didn't know where it was and my boss at the shop kept telling me I couldn't replace it without that kit we've used in the past.

Now I've got BETTER INFO! Thanks, Matt!!! :cool:
 

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here's what mine looks like (thanks LoadedButane). The end with the red plug is the condenser end.

If it looks like that, great! You've got an easy-to-reach orifice tube.

Seems like a lot of TBirds got one that looks like this one (pic from RockAuto:)



THAT one - it's in the lowest portion. It bends down from the condensor, runs down the frame rail (which is where the orifice tube is), then bends back up at a 45* angle and goes flexible until it gets to the hardline that connects to the evaporator.

THAT one - there's a repair kit available. However, it runs about 4x the price of the whole hose (Erg.)

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ralph,

I don't have all the details, but I think it was the early year models and the V6's that got screwed. But then again, I read that the 97 was different than the 94-96's.

That's why I started this thread. The info seemed to contradict itself in many places, but it looks like I lucked out and got the easier one.

Thanks again folks. I'll try to add to the knowledge base and take some pics.
 
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